MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

February 24, 2018 

Collegiate DECA provides valuable experiences for Mayville State students

We’re very proud of a fine group of Mayville State University students who are involved in Collegiate DECA. Since the Mayville State Collegiate DECA chapter was officially formed in October of 2011, many students have excelled and been exceptional representatives of Mayville State University, not only locally, but also at the statewide and international levels.

Historically, Collegiate DECA stood for Distributive Education Clubs of America, but over the past 10 to 15 years, the organization has expanded its focus beyond the basic marketing discipline to cover other areas of business. DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. The professional organization provides leadership and career-oriented opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders and is open to students pursuing all majors. Collegiate DECA provides a natural outlet for leadership, competition, networking, and community service. Currently Collegiate DECA includes more than 15,000 members in 275 colleges and universities worldwide.

The mission of the Mayville State Collegiate DECA chapter is to expand professionalism by enhancing school, community, and self through the linking of education and experience. The group’s constitution further explains the objects of the organization as follows:

  • to enhance leadership and professionalism;
  • to develop community and campus service;
  • to grow business, information technology, and career skill sets;
  • to promote Mayville State University and the Division of Business;
  • to create more interest and understanding in the American business enterprise system;
  • to facilitate the transition from college to the world of work;
  • to foster high ethical standards in business;
  • and to encourage business activity that demonstrates civic, social, and moral responsibility.

Since 2011, MSU Collegiate DECA has had more than 90 members place at the North Dakota state competition, five students serve as state vice presidents, and 31 people place at international competition. Specifically, those 31 students have placed in the top 10 or higher, with 10 of those finishing in first, second, and/or third places. Furthermore, students have been recognized nationally with both leadership awards and community service awards. MSU Collegiate DECA has also been fortunate to have each of its advisors, Rob Johnston and Dustin Olson, recognized as North Dakota State Advisor of the Year, in 2013-14 and 2014-15 respectively.

The Collegiate DECA Leadership Passport award is given out to fewer than 10% of Collegiate DECA members worldwide and to fewer than five percent of Collegiate DECA chapters each year. The award recognizes actions taken by members and chapters that build personal and professional skill sets that employers desire. The MSU Collegiate DECA chapter has received the Chapter Leadership Award for six-straight years. Additionally, every MSU student who has traveled to the international conference since 2013 has received the Individual Leadership Passport Award. Students at Mayville State University are standing out and leading their peers from larger institutions like Ohio State University, UNLV, University of Wisconsin, and University of Minnesota.

Along with the success in competition, MSU Collegiate DECA has been nationally recognized six times for being active in the community. DECA members have logged hundreds of hours of community service in things such as pumpkin painting with residents at the nursing home, volunteering at the local VFW club, helping set up for Winterfest, campus clean-up, raising scholarship funding for students, assisting the MSU Foundation with campus events, and much more.

Each year, there are two Collegiate DECA conferences in North Dakota, one in the fall and one in the spring. This year the Fall Leadership Conference was in Fargo on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, and the North Dakota Career Development Conference which was held in Fargo Feb. 11 and 12. Because they did well at the state competition, several students qualified to attend and compete at the International Career Development Conference in Washington, D.C. in April. Both the North Dakota and International Career Development Conferences provide Mayville State’s Collegiate DECA members with the opportunity to network with professionals, compete against peers, and meet other Collegiate DECA members from all around the country.

MSU’s Collegiate DECA president, Jordan Johnson from Hatton, N.D., had this to say about her experiences, “In addition to being the MSU chapter president the past two years, I have had the opportunity to serve as a state DECA vice president in 2017-2018. DECA has opened my eyes to the world of business in many ways, whether it is presenting in front of the CEO of a company or just learning tips and tricks for properly interviewing for a job. I can truly say the DECA has changed my life in a positive way. I would encourage everyone to push themselves to be a better person in whatever way they can, and that is what DECA has done for me.”

We are delighted that Mayville State students have the opportunity to learn and grow through their involvement with Collegiate DECA. We tip our hats to the advisors, officers, and members for the wonderful work they do. You make us proud!